Restaurants, bars and cafes are not only spaces of business, but foremost they are sanctuaries. They are places that meet the needs of people by providing comfort, enjoyment, relaxation, socialization, and community. During these uncertain times of pandemic, it has been heartening to see the hospitality industry come together and develop creative solutions to care for one another and survive. We can use this caring energy as an opportunity to extend our solidarity to the tremendously high number of people who live under the poverty line in this surreal system we are all struggling in.
As a community, those of us who have the privilege to enjoy these spaces and those who run them, should strive to provide support to people who, due to hardship and economic disadvantages are often excluded from participating in the crucial part of social activity that the hospitality industry provides. We believe that acts of collective care won’t drown us into bankruptcy, but rather give us the opportunity to step outside of our insulated bubbles and connect with the communities we live in, work and do business in. We don’t need to qualify these acts as extraordinary or kind-hearted, but simply as a long overdue need to face the reality of the deep inequalities in our society, and do our part to help the disadvantaged.
If you are the owner or future owner of a hospitality business in Berlin, we’d like to invite you to think of an act of collective care that will be easy to integrate into your own routines. As an example of what that could look like, at Jaja we have decided to cook every week 30 portions of a hearty stew to donate to a social institution in our neighborhood. The cost of that act we will incur as a fixed charge, like paying GEMA or electricity. We invite you get in touch with your surrounding community and listen to their needs, and you will certainly find a struggle you can help make a difference in.
Let’s ask ourselves the question « Who defines social reality? » and give it a simple answer « All of us ». From now on let’s make collective caring our new reality.
Don’t know where to start? Below we’ve listed some organizations already active in the community who you can reach out to and coordinate with. Please don’t hesitate to send us your links to institutions who are missing on this list: